Photographing prints and paintings can be intimidating. You want to accurately tape the colors and texture of the piece so that your work is represented at its all-time, only the the scale, delicateness, and intricacy of the pieces often makes this catchy. In this tutorial, you’ll learn two ways to photograph paintings or prints using a tripod and a pair of lights to ensure the lighting is even and the colors accurate. Have no fearfulness: with a trivial bit of methodology and some good light photographing paintings can exist easy, and even fun!
Things you will need
- Tape measure
- Gray card
Photographing Unmounted Artwork
If the work is not mounted or framed, such every bit loose impress, information technology will be more than applied to photo information technology lying apartment on the flooring rather than trying to prop it upright. Notwithstanding, if your slice is too large and you can’t get your camera high plenty above the work to fit it entirely into a frame without getting tripod legs in the way, the setup used for the mounted piece of work (described below) will work better.
Gear up Up a Tripod
Set upwardly a tripod around the piece on the floor. You may want to put the piece of work on a piece of white foamcore or a self-healing cutting mat. The reward of the mat is that it has filigree lines, which you tin use to ensure your paper is straight. Once your tripod is over the work area, adjust your tripod so it can face up the floor.
Some tripods permit you to have the center column out and mount information technology upside downward and splay the legs out farther than their normal position. This configuration places the photographic camera directly above your work area and allows you to photograph larger pieces without the tripod legs getting in the way.
Prepare and Position the Artwork
Set the artwork by making sure it is free of grit and checking to see if it lies apartment.
I gear up a cocky-healing cut mat that has a filigree printed on information technology to help me line upwardly the edges of my subject. This is not entirely necessary merely having some tape marks at the very to the lowest degree will help you lot line up each slice if you are photographing a number of items.
Place the artwork on the surface and line it upwards and then that y’all tin can squarely position information technology in the camera’due south frame.
Set Upwards Camera to Squarely Frame Artwork
Position the photographic camera on the tripod and line information technology upwards and then that information technology is every bit squarely situated as you lot tin get it. Ideally the dorsum of the camera volition be parallel with the ground. A small-scale level laid on the back of the camera will help. Aligning the camera squarely volition help eliminate unwanted lens distortion, which will save lots of post-production time and make the end result look much better.
We desire to fill as much of the frame of the camera with the subject as possible. Notwithstanding, nigh artwork does not conform to the standard aspect ratio of a camera. If that is the case for your piece of work, fill the frame and get out simply minimal areas to crop out later.
Position a Pair of Lights to Evenly Illuminate the Surface
Fifty-fifty lighting is key to making a well-exposed image that needs fiddling mail-production work. For this set up, we will utilize a pair of lights positioned at equal distances from the subject. This kind of lighting is called “re-create lighting,” because we are lighting to brand as exact a copy of the field of study every bit possible.
First we will become head and mensurate out equal distances with a tape measure:
The lights should be positioned downwardly at 45 caste angles toward the subject. Once I accept them at that bending and equal distances, I will start to check the surface for even illumination. I have an incident light meter to help me take exposure readings. It records how much light is falling
the subject, unlike the meter in a camera which records the light reflected
If yous don’t take an incident lite meter at your disposal, you can employ a grayness card and record exposure readings using your photographic camera. Only alter the metering manner of your camera to the spot meter and record the exposure value every bit you identify the gray card in different areas of the work area. Check the four corners and center. If the reading are equal, the lite is perfectly fifty-fifty.
For more information on this method, check out this informative tutorial almost using a greyness card to ready exposure and colour residue.
Set Exposure, Focus, and White Balance on the Photographic camera
It is very important for when photographing artwork to have your color balance ready accurately. To set custom white remainder, select that option in your camera’s menu and use a greyness card to arrange the white balance.
To fix exposure for the photographic camera I will use the manual mode (M) and my light meter reading. If you lot don’t have a low-cal meter use a grayness card and your photographic camera’s meter to get a reading.
Advisedly adjust the focus using manual focus and cheque with LCD screen on your photographic camera until you tin can encounter that the smallest particular is in focus. Then take a test photo and zoom in to make certain that everything is in focus.
Take Your Photo
You are almost ready to take your photo! If you accept a cablevision release, using it will reduce vibration and create a sharper prototype. If y’all don’t accept a cable release, switch your photographic camera to it’s timer mode. This mode is called various things on different cameras, sometimes marked as a little stopwatch. It delays the shutter release, letting the camera come to rest and the vibration acquired by your finger pressing the shutter button.
Ok, now go ahead and printing the shutter release.
If the image looks good on review, peachy work. If not, check over the setting and echo the previous steps. Once everything is dialed in, you tin can photograph pieces of artwork all twenty-four hour period long on the same settings.
Later on y’all have taken the photos it is fourth dimension to edit. Find a walk-through afterward the setup for mounted work.
Photographing Mounted Artwork
If the work is mounted or framed, such as a stretched sheet or framed print information technology may exist more practical to photograph it hung on the wall, especially if it is a very large piece.
Prepare and Position the Artwork
Prepare the artwork by hanging it on a wall. Hang the slice at a comfy working tiptop and brand sure information technology is level because that will help you line everything up squarely.
Ready a Tripod
Set upward a tripod and then that it faces toward the painting and adjust the tripod head to be level using a level. Many tripods have built-in spirit levels to help. Again, this will help us line everything up squarely.
Gear up Photographic camera to Squarely Frame the Artwork
Position the photographic camera on the tripod and line information technology up and then that it is as squarely situated equally possible to the artwork. Ideally the back of the photographic camera will be parallel with plane of the artwork, though this is sometimes trickier to do with large wall-mounted pieces. If you accept the option, moving your camera dorsum and using a longer lens can make positioning your camera easier: the farther away from the artwork you lot are, the shallower an adjustment you take to make to get your camera perpendicular to the artwork. Don’t dorsum up too far, thought, you want to go along the slice as big as you can in the frame.
Position a pair of lights to evenly illuminate the surface
Even lighting is cardinal to making a well-exposed image that needs little post-production work. For this set up up, we will use a pair of lights positioned at equal distances from the subject. So first I will go caput and measure out equal distances with a tape measure out. A dominion of thumb is that the larger the piece you are photographing, the further away the lights demand to exist positioned.
Again the lights should exist positioned at 45 degree angles toward the subject. Once you have them at that angle and equal distances, check the surface for even illumination.
If you lot don’t accept an incident low-cal meter at your disposal, you tin again use a gray bill of fare and record exposure readings using your photographic camera. Just change the metering manner of your camera to the spot meter and record the exposure value as you lot place the grey card in different areas of the work area. Bank check the 4 corners and center. If the reading are equal, the light is perfectly even.
Prepare Exposure, Focus, and White Residue on the Camera
Information technology is important to have your colour balance ready accurately. Again employ the camera’s custom white balance. To set custom white balance, select that choice in my camera’due south carte du jour and use a grey card to adjust the white balance.
Sentry out for uneven color casts. If one of the walls in the area you are photographing is a strong colour, and it catches some of the light from your setup, that color may “bleed” into your artwork. If you lot exercise have this problem, a neutral-colored blanket or a piece carte du jour stock can help to cake to offending calorie-free.
To ready exposure for the photographic camera, once again use the manual fashion (G) and low-cal meter reading. If you don’t take a light meter, use a gray menu and your camera’s meter to get a reading.
Carefully arrange the focus using manual focus and checking with LCD screen on your photographic camera until you can see that the smallest detail is in focus. Have a test photograph and zoom in to make sure that everything is in focus.
Take the Photo!
You are ready to have your photo. And so get ahead and press the shutter release. If the paradigm looks expert on review, dandy job. If not, cheque over the setting and echo the previous steps. In one case everything is dialed in, you can photograph pieces of artwork all twenty-four hour period long.
Image Processing: Ingather, Levels, and Sharpness
In one case you have the photo on your computer, we can perform a few edits to enhance the quality of the image. I will demonstrate the most essential edits in Adobe Photoshop.
While nosotros were working with the camera, nosotros tried to get every bit close to the edges of the print as possible. Notwithstanding, since the aspect ratio was unlike, we need to cut out anything that is not the paradigm expanse on the print. So the commencement step is to crop the image. For this task, I desire to employ the
tool which is found in the flyout menu nether the normal
tool, I will move the corners of the crop rectangle to the corners of the artwork. I like to zoom in and brand certain that the corners are every bit closely lined up equally I can get them while keeping out unwanted areas. Then, press
to ingather. The software will cut out the area you told it to and re-calculate the epitome to be a rectangle.
The first aligning we will make is to the
Levels. To find the
panel and click on the
button. This will suit the tones in the image to wait more than like the original detail. The levels adjustment shows a histogram that has three sliders under it.
We will begin by adjusting the slider for the lite areas of the image. It is found on the right side. Take that slider and slide information technology to the left until it meets the histogram graph. This will brighten the low-cal areas of the image. Y’all want friction match the effulgence of the original artwork.
Next, have the slider plant on the left side and slide information technology to the right until it meets the histogram graph. This will darken the darker areas of the prototype effort friction match the dark tone to the original artwork.
The third slider lies under the heart of the histogram and adjusts the overall brightness of the image. If your image looks likewise light or nighttime, attempt adjusting the center slider slightly left or right. You want match the overall appearance of the original artwork
The second aligning nosotros volition make is to sharpen the paradigm using the
filter. Zoom in to 100% on the paradigm. Then, get upward the
carte du jour in Photoshop and find the
choice. Select the
choice in the sub-carte du jour.
I will fix the overall amount to somewhere around 120%, or to where I see the brush strokes or other surface item becoming clearer. I will keep the radius at 1 pixel to keep the adjustment minimal and not over enhance the texture. The goal with with this aligning is to enhance some of the detail such equally the brush strokes in this painting.
And that’due south information technology! Here’s a await a the final images:
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